Category Archives: Food

2017 Favorites

The year flew by. I tried and failed at many things this year, but this last day of the year, I’m going to share the positive things, and my favorites.

The photo above is a dish I made trying out roasted purple cauliflower.  It’s hard to see but to the right of the salmon is purple cauliflower rice, which I made too. The fish is salmon sprinkled with fresh dill, paprika, garlic salt, black pepper, and topped with slices of limes.  I’ve never cooked with cauliflower before but I think this will be my new favorite thing because I really like the flavor and how easy it is to cook cauliflower.

I’m very proud to say that I accomplished two of my five goals this year.  One of them was to start school again…actually, to resume my master’s program from 2010.  So far, I’ve completed three classes and have four to go.  I’m going to try and load up on classes so that I finish by end of Spring 2018.  The other goal was to read 12 books.  I ended up reading 34 books.  A lot of it was due to freelancing as a book reviewer.  I was doing about three to four books a month starting in July.  I still read for leisure and still enjoy it

Here are my favorite books of the year:

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  This was such a lovely and fun story with romance, magic, and suspense.

2. Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon.  This was a beautiful story told through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 60’s.  The world building was fabulous.  I felt like I was right there with the boy.  The characters were well thought out and vivid.  McCammon really knows how to tug at your heart.

3. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier.  This was a well written classic about a man upset about the way his cousin died.  He was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery but somehow he becomes completely mesmerized by Rachel.  I saw the movie after reading the book and didn’t think it was as good.  If anything, read the book.


Can’t live without music.  For a sci-fi story I’ve been writing, I’ve got a few songs that go along with certain scenes.  Initially, I was going to submit the story to an anthology but I missed the deadline.  Okay, I have to remember I’m not going to focus on my failures (lol).  Anyway, here’s the cover for the book, and yes, that’s my pen name because I write different genres.

If you want to know a little about the story (the background story), you can check out my writing blog at, The Writing Sparrow.  It’s a new blog and I don’t have much there yet, but come 2018, there will be.

These are the songs that go with a few scenes in my story, but they are also favorites:

1. Immortal by Missing in Action

2. Last Hope by Antoine Heid (it’s just coincidence that my title has these two words in it).

3. Love on the Brain by Rhianna.

4. Elastic Heart by Sia

5. Wings (acoustic) by Birdy


I’ve been somewhat of a movie junkie this year.  I could barely count how many movies I’ve watched at the theater and at home.  It feels great to be able to watch all these movies.  When I had my two kids, I went into a strange zone where I couldn’t watch movies or even TV shows and not think everyone was pretending.  For some reason that bothered me to no ends.  Now, I’m relieved to say that even if they were acting, it’s no problem.  It doesn’t bother me one bit.  My favorite movies this year are:

1. Passengers

2. King Arthur – Legend of the Sword

3. Blade Runner

4. Star Wars – The Last Jedi

I didn’t do as much drawing and painted as I had wanted.  There’s just isn’t enough time to do everything so I’ve had to just focus on what mattered to me.  And, what mattered this year was getting my stories out.  I submitted a fantasy to an anthology earlier in the year but they are backed up so they haven’t gotten to telling the submitters who made it or not.  I also sent the same fantasy story to my professor who enjoyed it and gave me an “A.”

Thanks for stopping by and see you in the new year!

Nostalgic Snack

When I was a kid, Mom would make buttered tortillas for us (seven of us kids) for breakfast then send us on our way to grade school.  It has been a whirlwind raising my own kids.  They are super picky.  The older one doesn’t like tortilla with just butter.  She prefers quesadillas.  I’ve made a quesadilla for her once but I could never get the cheese amount exactly the way she likes it (but I think she likes it thick and gooey).  She didn’t complain but she hasn’t asked me to make it again.  As for my youngest, she doesn’t go near tortillas or cheese.

I like mine plain with butter just the way Mom made it.

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Lunch With Husband

The girls are both officially in school for the 20016/17  school year and I am back to having more time for myself and with my husband on his days off work.  I remember when the kids were babies and toddlers and kept me on my toes.  Now, they rarely need me.  It’s nice but sometimes I wish they were still little.  I can’t believe my oldest started high school.  It will take me awhile to accept this giant step.  Anyhow, I’m really enjoying spending more time with Husband.  It kind of feels like we are dating again.

Having lunch at Q Doba:

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Random Photos: Food

I’ve been working on eating healthier and thought I’d share some of those food.  Not everything is healthy yet but I’m getting there.

Deli Cajun turkey sandwich with thin pretzels and hummus.  Sausage stir fry with cabbage and a side of white rice.  I have reduced my intake of white rice to almost nothing and it feels great!

TURKEYSAUSAGE_840Kao piak.  The noodles are made with rice powder and glutenous rice powder.  This is one comfort food I don’t think I can ever stop eating but I’m going to limit how much I eat.  It’ll be hard because it is so good.  Zucchini spaghetti with turkey meat marinara and a side of roasted asparagus and French bread.

KAOPIAKTRKYSPG_840Quinoa tabbouleh and baked herb breaded chicken breasts.  First time making tabbouleh and loved it!

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Fish tacos. First time fish taco maker and it turned out so refreshing and delicious!

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Left over fish taco fish, slaw, and avocado with left over tabbouleh.  Deli Cajun turkey on nut bread with side of Lays Potato Chips.  I have a hard time eating sandwiches without something crunchy to go with it so that’s something I’ll need to work on.

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Teas…

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Apple Pie

This was my first time making apple pie.  I used pre-made pie crust and fuji apples.  It was so delicious.  I probably ate most of it.  If apple pie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream ever went extinct, I’d go crazy.

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Random 2009

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  Instead of sharing photos from this month, I thought it might be fun to share photos from 5 years ago this month:

112009_6639_800Celebrating their dad’s birthday.

112009_6435_800Our current home was being built.

112009_6740_8002nd grade Christmas singing.

KY112009_6440_500Two-year-old Kylie camera shy.

Quick N Easy Asian Chicken Salad AKA Laab

In the past I’ve posted about laab before but it’s one of my favorite asian dishes so I thought I’d take new photos and share my process a little differently.

Laab is a spicy chicken, beef, pork, or fish dish usually eaten with lettuce and/or rice.  The main spices used to create the flavor are: hot peppers, lemon grass, ginger, galanga, and roasted uncooked white rice.  It can be time consuming chopping and roasting the rice and all and sometimes I don’t mind doing that but when I’m short on time or I’m just craving laab way too much, I reach for the seasoning mix.  You can buy this mix at pretty much any Asian market.

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Fresh ingredients.  Top clockwise: chopped mint leaves, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced shallots, chopped scallions and limes.  I tend to add more lime juice in mine than necessary.  One lime should be enough for 1 lb. of meat but I used two.

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Boiled chicken.  Allow the cooked chicken to cool a little before chopping it up to small pieces.  You can also use ground chicken (or other ground meats) and sautee in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil.  I prefer it boiled because it’s healthier and less oily.

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Use a pestle to mash it.  I do it directly in the bowl where all the ingredients will go in.

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Add the laab mix, the herbs, squeeze in the lime juices, and add a teaspoon or two of fish sauce (not shown).  I also add a tablespoon of reserved chicken broth so that it’s not too dry.

laab0820140018_800Mix well and done.

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This is a very spicy salad so have it with a large glass of water.

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